Album Review

Delerium Tremens

Delerium Tremens

by Elliot Brown


8 / 10
20th July 2009

Reviewed by Paul Gallagher


One of the more under-appreciated troubadours of New Zealand music, Elliot Brown has been a force of lyrical talent and tobacco / brandy-fuelled witticisms for as long as I've known him (and for the purpose of transparency, that has been some time...). Delerium Tremens is a term used to describe the horrifying fear sometimes experienced during withdrawal symptoms from heavy drinking. Not to endorse a culture of alcoholism amongst undertheradar.co.nz 's readers, I have to admit that the indulgences that Elliot has intentionally suffered over the years has served both him and his craft well.

Many of the songs on this record are a collection of his discography up to this current point of time. Tracks recorded as half of The Stomps (alongside Sharpie Crows' drummer and talented lo-fi recording lad Jackson Hobbs) feature strongly, including fantastic tracks "Beaumains", "Draw", "One More Night" and "Hired Gun". Jackson has also recorded the majority of the other tracks that he hasn't drummed and sung on amongst the 21-track epic. But with Sharpie Crows breaking new ground in Australia, Elliot has been left to go it alone. And so he has - "Delerium Tremens" is a mixture of unrepentant drinking and remorseful actions forged amongst formative years spent in a rural cabin near Mangawhai. There has always been a mix of brutally earnest honesty within Elliot's music and a thematic blues folk aesthetic of an Dylan / Bo Diddley / Winston Churchill-speech quoting odyssey. "Anna" and "Ground Coffee" are the standout tracks amongst the newer material which shows the fires haven't yet died for a still-young, yet old-boned musician.

I could never figure out why Elliot Brown / The Stomps never really caught on amongst the music creche when I played their tracks (loyally) on 95bFM over the last few years before my move to Wellington. Since then there has been some airtime on KiwiFM, but seriously guys - start paying attention and don't miss out on an incredible if not love-lost / love-worn and cigarette-stained talent.




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